On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 18:01:27 -0600, Vic Smith wrote:
I don't disagree. The whole thing does not seem as dangerous as it really
is, simply because there is no difficulties. Of course, were something to
break or slip - THEN - it would be over in a flash.
The good news is that I just fixed two of the three problems I found
after I was done.
1. The door wasn't level (now fixed as per below).
2. The spring was 1/4 turn too tight (now fixed as per below).
3. The bracket is being forced to bend (not good - no solution yet).
1. The door was 1/4 inch too high on the right side (probably due to my
mistake of leaving the picklefork under the door) so I lowered it by 1/4
inch by loosening the cable drum as per this wonderful "Leveling Garage
Doors" DDM DIY:
Here is a before and after photo of the door, perfectly leveled now:
2. The spring was about 1/4 turn too tight as the door was shooting
upward at the midway point - even though it stayed at the bottom and
middle if you didn't move it. So, I simply unwound the spring by 1/4 turn
as shown here:
3. The bracket is bending! It's only held in with a single bolt!
There is no bushing nor a bearing. It just doesn't look like it's
mounted correctly. This is the topic of a more recent thread so I only
mention this problem here.
Other than that third problem, which isn't of my making, although I wish
I knew to look for it BEFORE the spring broke ... I would consider this,
my first torsion spring R&R DIY a success.
Thanks to everyone for your advice & encouragement!
On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 12:41:54 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:
Thanks. Dan Musick at DDM Garage doors told me that
I was very detail oriented, and he was able to help
me simply by looking at the pictures & videos I posted.
Here is a video looking at the spring end plate:
And here's a video looking at the bearing end plate:
If you guys need a torsion spring, and advice,
I highly recommend DDM Garage Doors!
On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 12:40:24 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:
That's why I taped the ends and listened for the click
of them seating (as Dan Musick says in his wonderful DIYs).
I've wound and unwound this one spring perhaps a half
dozen times this weekend - so I can attest that it
can be done safely.
See this picture for how I set it up for safety:
What you don't see in that picture is the garage door
opener mechanically disconnected and unplugged; and the
safety glasses; and me keeping standing on a sturdy step
ladder keeping my head out of the danger zone.
On Sat, 10 Nov 2012 12:24:59 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:
Wow. You live on a different planet from California prices!
BTW, I just now weighed the 7' tall by 8' wide steel garage door,
and I was shocked it's 185 pounds (and not 135# which one installer
told me based on my description of the door).
Lesson: Don't trust what the installer says on the phone!
135 Lbs. sounded pretty light to me.
Back when I used extension springs I'd have to lift the door all the way
up without assistance of springs. I can easily lift an 8 x 7, but the
16 x 7's were a real bitch! I'd heave it up to my belt line, then
"bench press" it the rest of the way to get some vise-grips on the track
to hold it while I installed the springs. Extension springs are way
more dangerous than torsion springs. I've seen the aftermath of one
that snapped that didn't have a safety cable running through the middle.
It shot through the other side of the garage and two layers of
Ah, you noticed that!
That pickle fork I bought in, oh, the early 1980s to replace
my ball joints - and it's still being put to use!
If I had the 18-inch long steel winding bars, I could also
have just wound the door up and then let it sit back down
on the scale.
On Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:12:29 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:
One problem is getting your hands on it because of the cheap plastic
Taylor door handles.
Unfortunately, all there is, is one cheap plastic handle, way down low.
Trying to lift 127 pounds with that cheap plastic handle where you can
only get one hand on it at a time, and you're half bent over, is, I
think, the real challenge in lifting it up.
On Sat, 10 Nov 2012 19:30:08 +0000, Danny D. wrote:
I just got off the phone Dan Musick of DDM doors who said
that there's no way my 2 7/8" thick steel (both sides) door is
185 pounds - so the scale must be lying to me (by 60 pounds!).
He says that it must be a Taylor door (due to the black plastic hinges)
and that an 8 foot wide by 7 foot double sided steel Taylor door would
be about 127 pounds (which is about right for the original spring
which has an unusual 13 inch track radius).
We double-checked the coils to be 0.234"
30 coils = 7 inches = 0.233"
20 coils = 4 5/8 inches = 0.231"
10 coils = 2 3/8 inches = 0.237"
Note: A micrometer came up with 0.242" but it's not accurate on curves.
And, we doublechecked the length at 26.5 inches by loosening the
winding cone and slapping both ends of the broken spring together.
Moral of the story:
- Don't trust micrometers & digital bathroom scales!
Just to give you an update ... I'm waiting for the upgraded
torsion spring & tools to arrive - and I will post pictures
of the thicker spring & new tools when UPS arrives with it.
Meanwhile, now that I know what to look for, I looked at
my second (larger) garage door to find the wrong hinges
installed, broken hinges, and even a badly cracked bottom
corner (the wood is split in half!).
So, by way of update, here is a picture of what I'm dealing
with, while I wait for the torsion spring to arrive from UPS.
Thank you for your help. I've learned a ton and I now have the
confidence to replace my own torsion spring, when it arrives.
Without a.h.r., this learning task would be nearly impossible.
On Mon, 12 Nov 2012 11:49:13 -0600, Vic Smith wrote:
The Taylor door is probably circa 1990'ish.
I wonder if the fact that more than a few of the black plastic (nylon)
hinges had already been replaced put more stress on the bottom corner?
Also, the fact that the #1 and #3 positions on one side BOTH were prior
replaced with #1 steel hinges ...makes me wonder about stresses applied.
Lastly, at least one #14 inch-long sheet-metal screw is missing from that
bottom corner - so - I have to wonder what that means for the tremendous
stress applied when the door is down.
From outside, it looks like the door had a major 'problem' at some
point - based on these uneven gauges all along both jambs.
RIGHT SIDE GOUGES:
On Sun, 04 Nov 2012 01:14:17 +0000, Danny D. wrote:
Here is a quick writeup for another person like I am who had never
replaced a garage door torsion spring before today.
First, it is helpful if you read this entire thread BEFORE your spring snaps
(and particularly notice the things that I WISH I had noticed before
the spring snapped). Namely ...
1. Check your hinges (mine were broken on my larger door)
2. Measure your spring (write the size on the wall)
3. Check your garage door level (mine was 1/4" tilted after the spring)
4. Check the balance (mine was 1/4 turn too tight after the new spring)
5. Lubricate moving parts (results in a more peaceful operation)
6. And, most important: Check your center bracket with the door up & down!
(Mine appears to have been improperly mounted.)
I won't go into the details of the issues above since they're already
well covered in the associated thread.
What I will say is my 'impression' of the job - now that I've joined the
ranks of those who have actually replaced a garage door torsion spring.
First off, you MUST read the Richard Kinch garage door torsion spring DIY!
His logic is impeccable.
But, do not follow Richard's DIY (it's too difficult a read); follow
Dan Musick's DIY over here (and buy the torsion springs from Dan also!):
Buying from Dan allows you to call him - and he always picks up the phone!
Buy the two solid steel bars from Dan also - he's cheaper than anyone else
other than a big box store - but you only save a buck or two by not using
Dan so I used him to ensure I had the right sized tools.
Now comes the big revelation (now that I've done it):
Replacing a torsion spring isn't hard at all.
In fact, unless something breaks or slips (or you do something stupid),
it's entirely trivial to replace a garage door torsion spring!
As you can tell, I read every DIY I could find, and I called Dan quite
a few times to ask questions. I upgraded my spring to a thicker spring
with more than double the original duty cycle. Total cost was around
$75 for the spring, cones, solid winding bars, and shipping. It would
have cost $150 to $200 to have someone else do it - although it would
have NOT taken the two weeks it took me to learn all that I learned.
Had I replaced with the original spring size, it would have saved me
only $10 or $15 ... so the cost of the spring is negligible.
The real cost (and satisfaction) of a DIY is the effort expended to
learn how a garage door really works.
For example, it was new to me that the tracks are pitched backward
the same amount that the hinges are graduated forward - in order to
wedge the door tightly against the elements.
Also, it was new to me that the hollow rod across the doorway
actually moved side to side, as the door opened and closed.
Likewise, it was news to me that the torsion spring is what lifts the
door - the opener simply provides direction (and a tiny pull or push).
Before this job, I didn't know how to maintain a garage door.
Before this job, I didn't know how to check for broken hinges.
I didn't even know how to look for proper garage door alignment.
All this (and more), you'll learn when you replace your first garage
door torsion spring!
In the end, after reading and doing, I would say this is an EASY job.
Almost a very easy job!
On a scale of 1 to 10, it's about a 2 on tools required (all you need
is a 9/16ths & 3/8ths inch open-end wrench, two large vise grips, and
two 18" long 1/2" diameter solid steel winding bars) and about a 2 or
3 on expertise required (assuming you read Richard's & Dan's DIYs).
HOWEVER YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT THIS WITHOUT READING THOSE DIYs!
It's too easy to make a mistake - but - if you simply follow Dan's
DIY, you can't make a mistake unless you don't follow his directions!
The force you need was minimal. I would say every red-blooded American
male easily has the strength to wind a 0.250" thick two-inch ID torsion
spring 30 quarter turns as I just did.
At no point did I 'feel' threatened by the spring - although I took
all precaution that Dan recommended (safety glasses, safety zone, etc.).
Yes, something could go wrong. But, if you asked me, I'd say I'm more
afraid of operating a chain saw on a tree than replacing a torsion
spring. I'd be more afraid about removing a bee's nest. Or sliding
down a slippery slope on my back.
This job is really not as frightening as people make it out to be.
To be sure, I did read about all the broken bones (Dan had a few
stories of his own) and the impalements and the death that can
occur - but I have to say, I followed directions - and I never
felt an oh-shoot moment. It was actually undramatic.
So, in hindsight, I would recommend this job to anyone willing to
read the DIYs and willing to follow them and willing to doublecheck
each step. If you're willing to do that, you'll know your garage
door better - you'll have better springs - your door may be better
balanced - smoother operating - and your hinges will be in better
Thanks to everyone! Good luck to all.
On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 01:09:46 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."
Nice job. Don't know if you mentioned the option of going to 2
springs. Ran across it trying to understand the torsion forces.
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